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Thread: I can't nurse/pump anymore

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    64

    Default I can't nurse/pump anymore

    I pumped every 2-3 hours. i would fill the bottle every time. Now, I'm lucky if I get an ounce. I feel engored from time to time and I try to pump then, but it is incredibly painful on the nipple. My son is used to the bottle. And it seems that he is very gassy from being on exclusive breast milk. He doesn't seem to be "satisfied" with any feeding, no matter how large or small he takes. My ped recommends Enfimil and i got some in the mail (freebee's) and I tried the Gas-Ease version this afternoon. He sucked down 2 ounces and fell fast asleep. He will be 3 weeks on Tuesday. His latch is not working which is why I went to the pump and feed.
    I also feel as if my supply has gone down. I'm pumping now only about 2 times a day. Any other time, it's just not there.

    Nicki

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    2,570

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    The first few weeks can be so hard and so confusing. It sounds like you are looking for advice, or I figure you wouldn't be posting here. Can you try to see a LC and try to get him on the breast? It would be very daunting to be only pumping, but many woman do it. I bet though, you would feel better if you could feed him directly from the breast. What have you tried so far to get him latching?


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,107

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    Hi Nicki, and welcome! I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. Believe me, so many of us here have been where you are now.

    So you're having pain when you pump. What sort of pump do you have? And when you pump, do you see your nipples rubbing against the sides of the tubes? A lot of pumping pain is caused by incorrectly-sized breast shields. If you think the shields are too small, but don't have immediate access to properly-sized ones, you can try putting a little olive oil on your nips and seeing if that helps reduce the chafing when you want/need to pump.

    If you want your bay to get back to eating breastmilk exclusively, you will probably have to pump (or nurse) frequently. If you want to increase your supply, what worked for me was pumping every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night. If you wait for your breasts to "fill up" with milk, you will slowly make less and less, because your body is getting the message that what it is making isn't really required. Your supply will meet the demand put on it- demand more and you will make more!

    It's normal for a breastfed baby to feed much more frequently than a formula-fed baby. (Mine nursed every 1.5-2 hours until 1 year old.) The reason it works this way is that breastmilk is much more easily and rapidly digested than formula. Formula sits heavy on a baby's little tummy- which may be why your son zonked out after a bottle of it.

    Have you seen a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant)? There is no substitute for hands-on help. If you want, a LC can help you find the right pump, the right shields, maybe even give you a few tricks that could get your baby back on the breast!

    Of course, all this advice is moot if you are ready to wean. Are you? Because you don't have to if you don't want to!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    257

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    Please don't give up quite yet without trying a couple more things... breastfed babies aren't supposed to be gassy and supplementing, especially this early in your supply, can cause pretty major supply issues and can be pretty hard on your body. Breastfeeding can be pretty hard to start but you really might regret it if you give up so soon. I am not judging you at all for your choices but most of us have been there and those "freebies" and some of the information that goes with them can be so tempting when you are having a tough time and you are so exhausted.

    Your pediatrician probably recommends Enfamil for IF you are going to formula feed but I am sure he/she feels that breastfeeding will be wonderful for your child too!

    It sounds like what you are going through is quite temporary and can be addressed. You might be dehydrated, have a plugged duct, etc. Drink plenty of water, consider some supplements like fenugreek and alfalfa, and please try to at least talk to a lactation consultant about improving your little one's latch or improving your "let down" to the pump.

    You really can do it, you don't have to, but you owe it to yourself to try, and I don't think you have anything to lose by giving it another week or two. You won't regret trying but you might regret not trying, know what I mean? There are lots more knowlegable people on these boards than myself, and they can help you with really specific resources and answers to your questions, I hope you will be able to stick around a little longer to talk to them!

    Again, please know that folks are only here to support you. We know it is really, really hard sometimes, especially at first, and we know how tired and desparate you can get. Best of luck to you and take care of yourself no matter what your decision may be!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    9,280

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    My son was gassy from about 3 weeks to about 10 weeks, gradually getting better as the weeks wore on. They are growing so fast, and their digestive system is developing. They also cry a lot and suck in a lot of air. We would burp him frequently to try to get the gas out from the top since its easier than him struggling with how to get it out the bottom, kwim?

    The issues you are dealing with do sound like it could be a growth spurt. Your baby seeming unsatisfied after a feeding can be him upping your milk supply as he grows. Milk is supply and demand. As baby grows, he needs more milk. To get more milk, he demands to nurse more which tells your body to produce more.

    A good way to see if he's getting enough is to count his diapers. How many wet and dirty diapers is he having in a 24 hour period. What is his weight gain like?

    Breastmilk is going to be easier on your baby's tummy than formula. It is predigested and absorbed quickly. Formula requires more digestion, therefore sits longer in baby's tummy and can actually make gas worse.



    Lyn
    Lyn
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes


    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by muxe13 View Post
    I pumped every 2-3 hours. i would fill the bottle every time. Now, I'm lucky if I get an ounce. I feel engored from time to time and I try to pump then, but it is incredibly painful on the nipple.
    Please see my post on your other thread here:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=49870&page=4

    Quote Originally Posted by muxe13 View Post
    My son is used to the bottle. And it seems that he is very gassy from being on exclusive breast milk. He doesn't seem to be "satisfied" with any feeding, no matter how large or small he takes.
    What do you mean by satisifaction? Do you mean he wants to suck more? Or does he become fussy?

    Quote Originally Posted by muxe13 View Post
    His latch is not working which is why I went to the pump and feed.
    It's never too late to get help with latching on.

    Quote Originally Posted by muxe13 View Post
    I also feel as if my supply has gone down. I'm pumping now only about 2 times a day. Any other time, it's just not there.
    Muxe, how often are you pumping? Are you pumping every 2-3 hours around the clock (for a total of about 8 times per day)? Or are you waiting for your breasts to feel full before pumping?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore



    I have been where you are now. It pretty much stinks doesn't it????

    It does get better, it gets a little easier just with time.

    At one point I was so overwhelemed that I only pumped one or two times each day. Unfortunately that is not often enough to keep your supply going. My LC told me I had to pump a minimum of 6 times (10 minutes on each side) to KEEP my supply what it was (and it wasn't that great at that point).

    I made it my goal to pump at least 6 times in 24 hours, and to try for 8-10 times. I usually got at least seven 10 minute sessions in, and when I was less overwhelmed I pumped more often to get my supply back up to snuff.

    I also had blood blisters until I got the right size parts for my pump, so definitely look into sizing up or down on those. I have every size but one, and I would use different ones depending on how sore I was because they all rubbed slightly different spots.

    Mama to DD#1 Exclusive pumper for 3 months before getting back to breast

    and

    DD#2 Straight from the tap since birth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    I don't know if any of this will help, but about 2 weeks ago I was about to toss in the towel and go to formula. My son is now 5 weeks old and I have decided to pump and bottle feed the breast milk. We are still working on nursing, and practicing as often as we can, however, I only nurse when I am not stressed out, not tired, have been eating well, and drinking well. As soon as I took out the stress of nursing, my milk production went way up. As well, I am also on domperidone (motilium) 4 times a day to increase my milk production, and I think it works. Definitely consult a lactation consultant and do what is best for you. My consultant always said "concentrate on one feeding at a time".

    As for pumping, make sure you have an electric pump, and a dual pump is the best. If you have only a single pump, go back and forth between breasts every 5 minutes to try and encourage milk letdown. With a dual pump I agree with all the others, you need to pump between 6-8 times per day for about 10-15 minutes. I pump every 2-3 hours during the day, and sleep as long as my baby sleeps at night. As for formula fed babies sleeping longer, all I have to say is that Jack is strictly on breastmilk by bottle (mainly) and he is sleeping between 6-9 hours during the night. I think it has to do with that I know how much he is eating before he goes to bed. He will easily eat between 3-4 ounces at about 11 pm, and sleep often to 7 am.

    Hope that helps a bit, but remember to do what is best for you. In the end, you have an amazing baby to take care of, and that's what is the most important.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    please don't give up you will so regret it. Sucking out of a bottle is so much easier than sucking from the breast they don't have to work as hard. when you pump & no milk is coming out don't worry too much just keep pumping as your breast are still being stimulated to produce milk. your baby is much better at getting the milk out than a pump. I am going though the same thing but i've had to top up with perscription milk called Infatrini This is a high calorie milk to help my baby put on weigh as she is 10weeks old and only 6lb2oz. There is also a thing called a SUPPLEMENT NURSING SYSTEM by MEDELA this is a bottle with 2 tubes that attach to the end of your nipples so when baby feeds the get formula and breast milk at the same time it is a clever thing I got mine from Amazon.com.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: I can't nurse/pump anymore

    I don't have a whole lot to add, but I just wanted to say it sounds like you're working hard & really trying to do what's best for your baby so way to go! I know the beginning can be horrible, but there are definitely things you can do if you do want to continue. My son was horribly gassy at first; I think a lot of babies are just because they're new to digesting. It passes. I would recommend what others have said - get in touch with a lactation consultant, pump as often as possible to let your body know you need more milk, & practice with the latch - it can be very difficult at first for you & baby, but you'll both get the hang of it & it's such a rewarding experience, especially when you make it through such a difficult start.
    Good luck!

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